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Agaliha
June 26th, 2008, 05:50 AM
On the Reality of Ethereal Beings

Dialogues on Checkerism



"Wise man, do ethereal beings really exist? Or are they merely a function of our higher self?"

"What beings do you mean?"




"Angels, fairies, the little people, demons, pixies, dragons and all that. When people see them, what do they see? A real emanation or a figment of imagination?"

"Does it matter? Aren't both equally practical for spiritual workings?"




"I guess so... but I'd like to be certain that when someone claims to have seen an angel, the angel really was there, instead of them imagining it. Is there a way to be certain?"

"Normally we'd study people's statements. If their descriptions match, we assume their experience matched as well."




"But descriptions don't sound objective enough. Anectdotal evidence doesn't seem to have a predictive, scientific quality."

"Well, we currently know of the magnetic resonance of the brain. An MRI scanner can pick this up. Thus we can see a person's brain pattern. This way, we can study the brain's reaction to certain experiences. We could scan a person while they're sensing an ethereal being, and compare their brain pattern with that of other people sensing the same. If the patterns look alike, the experiences themselves should look alike as well."




"And that means the ethereal being really exists?"

"No... but it does mean we can identify the experience objectively, and get an insight into the immediate effects of experience. We may even find that the same brain pattern indicates the same ethereal being. That would add the predictive quality you asked for, which the study needs to count as scientific."




"And could the same indicate whether the experience's cause lies inside or outside ourselves?"

"Can we ever really tell? After all, our senses are a function of bodies. Everything we perceive, we perceive through those same senses."




"However, if we were to find similar brain patterns amongst different people when they claim sensing an ethereal being, that would increase the chances of the experience's cause lying outside ourselves."

"Unfortunately, exposure to the strong magnetism employed by the MRI scanner itself might decrease that same chance, because it might obstruct any influence an outside ethereal being supposedly has on us."




"So we couldn't tell either way... But since we believe those beings exist out of energy just like every other real thing, a scanner sensitive enough should pick them up."

"Correct. However I don't know of any scanners sensitive enough. I can imagine it difficult to build, too, since we don't really know what to look for."




"Then do tell, wise man, if we cannot tell whether ethereal beings really exist, then why do we continue to believe they do?"

"Why throw out an explanation that works?"




"But there is no proof they exist!"

"Neither did we prove yet, that they don't."